Commercial insurance for roofers

So, you’re a roofer. We all know that working as a roofer isn’t the easiest — or the safest — job around. Roofing professionals face some of the most dangerous job conditions across industries. No matter how hard you try to keep your work environment safe, sometimes things are simply out of your control. And when accidents happen, insurance is a great thing to have.

Roofer insurance requirements

Do roofers need insurance? Let’s get straight to the point: Yes. You work dozens of feet in the air, and on a pitched surface. Even if you’re working on a flat top, you’re still in the air, above the ground, and prone to risk.

Unfortunately, roofers must face a high level of risk every day on the job. That’s why we recommend several insurance coverages that are a perfect fit for those working in the roofing industry.

As for roofer insurance requirements, you will most likely be required to have your own roofing workers’ comp insurance, as well as roofing general liability insurance.

What types of insurance are the most important for roofers?

Many coverages benefit roofers, but the two most critical insurance policies for roofers to consider are general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. When things go wrong on the job, these policies are hugely beneficial.

Roofing general liability insurance

Roofing liability insurance, particularly general liability, is a nice policy to have for overall business protection. It protects you against many of the liabilities roofers face on a daily basis — including third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal/advertising injury.

Not sure how these coverages apply to you? Here are a few claims examples:

  • Third-party bodily injury: You’re working on a building that’s located on a busy block with lots of foot traffic on the sidewalk below. A huge gust of wind blows your ladder over, which lands on a pedestrian and breaks their neck. Your general liability policy would cover for the medical costs associated with the injury. Should the injured passerby decide to sue, the legal fees and court costs would also be taken care of by this policy.
  • Property damage: Let’s stick with the big gust of wind example. You’re working on a residential roof, and a powerful gust of wind knocks over your ladder, which cuts through the homeowner’s automatic pool cover — which can be quite expensive to mend. General liability will pay for the replacement or repair costs associated with the damages.
  • Personal/advertising injury: These types of damages refer to slander, libel, and copyright infringement. So, if you ever feel like venting in a super long Facebook rant, think twice. You could be held liable. Should your client decide to sue, your legal fees will be covered by your general liability insurance.
Learn more about general liability insurance.

How much does roofing general liability cost?

General liability premiums depend on the nature of your operation, your number of employees, and the state you operate in. Just remember, the more liability you face, the more coverage you need. And a higher level of coverage can mean a higher price tag.

Workers’ compensation insurance for roofing contractors

Roofing workers’ comp covers individuals and their employees should a work illness or injury occur. Because you work several stories off the ground, juggling large ladders, scaffolding, and many tools, you are at a greater risk of experiencing a work-related injury.

There are many ways workers’ compensation insurance benefits roofers. You could be wearing a faulty harness, your scaffolding could come loose, you could fall off your ladder, or you could slice your hand open with one of your tools. All of these accidents would be covered under a workers’ comp policy.

Medical costs associated with a work-related injury will be taken care of with your workers’ comp benefits. If you or an employee needs to take time off of work to recover, lost wages will be provided by this policy.

Back to work programs are offered through your insurance carrier, with tools and resources to help your and your team get back to working at full capacity. If you are injured to the point of being unable to return to work, other benefits will apply — such as training for a new career.

Learn more about workers’ compensation insurance.

How much is roofing workers’ compensation?
Check out our workers’ compensation cost analysis.

What other types of insurance should roofing contractors consider?

Roofers rely on their tools and equipment to get the job done. And, they need vans or trucks to get them to their work site. Because of these factors, we also recommend commercial property insurance, as well as commercial auto insurance.

Commercial property insurance for roofers

Also known as business property insurance, this coverage protects work tools, equipment, and inventory. Business property also pertains to the office building, itself. If you stow your work gear at home and something happens, your homeowners insurance typically only covers up to $500 in business property damages.

In the event of a fire, vandalism, theft, or natural disaster, commercial property insurance will pay for replacement and repair costs. If the damages prevent you from doing business, business income may be supplemented until you are back in working order.

Commercial property insurance vs. inland marine insurance

Commercial property insures your work tools and equipment while on your business’s premises. Once you are 500 feet off of your business premises, your business property coverage is left behind.

In order to protect your work gear in transit, you’ll want an inland marine policy, which covers your equipment on the go, and on location. This is commonly referred to as contractor’s tools and equipment coverage.

Commercial auto insurance

Also referred to as business auto insurance, this coverage protects vehicles owned by your business. If you rely on a personal vehicle for work, you may still want to consider this policy because if you are involved in an accident while driving on behalf of your business, it’s likely your personal auto policy will not pay the damages.

Commercial auto vs. hired & non-owned

Unlike commercial auto coverage, hired & non-owned auto insurance extends liability coverage to vehicles that are not owned by your business, including vehicles that are hired, borrowed, or rented for work related purposes.

Additionally, if you have an employee that uses their personal vehicle on behalf of your business, the non-owned auto coverage will protect them, as well. That means that if one of your employees is responsible for an accident while driving a personal vehicle to do a job-related errand, or while driving a rented vehicle to transport tools and supplies from a job, your business will be protected from a lawsuit. You would only have liability coverage for this situation if you have included hired or non-owned vehicles with your business auto policy.

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